Saturday Night Takeaway ‘in crisis talks’ over how to tackle Ant’s absence
Saturday Night Takeaway bosses are reportedly still holding crisis talks on how to tackle Ant’s absence.
It was previously confirmed that Dec will front this weekend’s show without Ant, who last week was charged with drink-driving.
Saturday Night Takeaway’s prefvious episode was cancelled last Saturday, with Ant leaving the show for the rest of the series.
A spokesperson for Ant said previously: “Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He’s spoken with Dec and ITV and asked for time off for the foreseeable future.”
It was later confirmed that the final two episodes will go ahead without Ant.
ITV, Dec and Saturday Night Takeaway producers are said to be struggling to decide how to deal with the issue on air.
According to The Sun, a final decision is not expected to be made until Saturday itself.
A source said that show bosses were keen to “hit the right tone”.
“They want to be respectful to people involved in Ant’s car accident, while not bringing down the mood of the show,” the insider explained. “Takeaway is all about having fun and they fear a sombre start may seriously effect the quality of the output.”
Dec will be joined by regular co-stars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt from this Saturday, March 31.
Stephen Merchant will appear as the weekly Guest Announcer in the next episode while Paloma Faith will be performing in the End Of The Show Show.
Plus, The Script will be taking part in Singalong Live.
Dec said: “Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
“We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that.
“Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series. Dec x.”
In a statement, ITV said: “ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.”